The Nether World is a novel written by the English author George Gissing. The plot concerns several poor families living in the slums of 19th century London. Rich in naturalistic detail, the novel concentrates on the individual problems and hardships which result from the typical shortages experienced by the lower classes — want of money, employment and decent living conditions.
A THRALL OF THRALLS
In the troubled twilight of a March evening ten years ago, an old man, whose equipment and bearing suggested that he was fresh from travel, walked slowly across Clerkenwell Green, and by the graveyard of St. James's Church stood for a moment looking about him. His age could not be far from seventy, but, despite the stoop of his shoulders, he gave little sign of failing under the burden of years; his sober step indicated gravity of character rather than... read more
A collection of nine enchanting short stories filled with curious beasts and unexpected endings. Included are The Bee-Man of Orn; The Griffin and the Minor Canon; Old Pipes and the Dryad; The Queen's Museum; Christmas Before Last: Or, The Fruit of the Fragile Palm; Prince Hassak's March; The Battle of the Third Cousins; The Banished King; and The Philopena (summary by Gryphon Perkins)... read more
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, is a popular 1876 novel about a young boy growing up in the antebellum South on the Mississippi River in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri.
If ever there was a story written based unabashedly on adventure and trouble, this is it.
There are treasure hunts and murderers on the run in this book that will keep you spellbound. Tom and his half-brother, Sid, lived with their aunt, Polly. Tom was a boisterous young fellow who constantly found himself in rather awkward situations that landed him into trouble. These situations were however exceedingly hilarious.
On one occasion, Tom dirtied his clothes in a fight and his punishment was to whitewash the fence the following day. He cunningly got his friends to not only beg to do the work for him but also to pay him for the privilege!
Tom and his friend, Huckleberry Finn visited the graveyard one night and witnessed the murder of Dr. Robinson. In fear they ran away to an island but soon came back home when they learned that their parents thought they were dead. But what became of the murderer on the run?... read more
The life of an anthropologist is no doubt filled much of the time with the monotonous routine of carefully assembling powdery relics of ancient races and civilizations. But White's lone Peruvian odyssey was most unusual. A story pseudonymously penned by one of the greats in the genre.
Fra Rafael saw strange things, impossible things. Then there was the mystery of the seven young virginal girls of Huascan.
Fra Rafael drew the llama-wool blanket closer about his narrow shoulders, shivering in the cold wind that screamed down from Huascan. His face held great pain. I rose, walked to the door of the hut and peered through fog at the shadowy haunted lands that lifted toward the sky—the Cordilleras that make a rampart along Peru's eastern border.... read more
Plain speaking is necessary in any discussion of religion, for if the freethinker attacks the religious dogmas with hesitation, the orthodox believer assumes that it is with regret that the freethinker would remove the crutch that supports the orthodox. And all religious beliefs are "crutches" hindering the free locomotive efforts of an advancing humanity. There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which any theology can solve, and which the teachings of freethought cannot do better and without the aid of encumbrances. (Summary from the preface)
THE NECESSITY OF ATHEISM
THE EVOLUTION OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
To early man, the gods were real in the same sense that the mountains, forests, or waterfalls which were thought to be their homes were real. For a long time the spirits that lived in drugs or wines and made them potent were believed to be of the same order of fact as the potency itself. But the human creature is curious and curiosity is bold. Hence, the discovery that a reported god may be a myth.
Max Carl Otto.... read more
American-born Stephen Marlowe was a prolific writer who made his mark in several genres, including science fiction. In the gripping page-turner Voyage to Eternity, the galaxy is engaged in a seemingly endless war of epic proportions. When young Christopher Temple is called to serve, he finds himself torn between a sense of duty and a desperate desire to remain with his beloved Stephanie. Will patriotism or romance win out?
When the first strong sunlight of May covered the tree-arched avenues of Center City with green, the riots started.
The people gathered in angry knots outside the city hall, met in the park and littered its walks with newspapers and magazines as they gobbled up editorial comment at a furious rate, slipped with dark of night through back alleys and planned things with furious futility. Center City's finest knew when to make themselves scarce: their uniforms stood for everything objectionable at this time and ... read more
Cornelius von Baerle, a respectable tulip-grower, lives only to cultivate the elusive black tulip and win a magnificent prize for its creation. But after his powerful godfather is assassinated, the unwitting Cornelius becomes caught up in deadly political intrigue and is falsely accused of high treason by a bitter rival. Condemned to life imprisonment, his only comfort is Rosa, the jailer's beautiful daughter, and together they concoct a plan to grow the black tulip in secret. Dumas' last major historical novel is a tale of romantic love, jealousy and obsession, interweaving historical events surrounding the brutal murders of two Dutch statesman in 1672 with the phenomenon of tulipomania that gripped seven th-century Holland.
On the 20th of August, 1672, the city of the Hague, always so lively, so neat, and so trim that one might believe every day to be Sunday, with its shady park, with its tall trees, spreading over its Gothic houses, with its canals like large mirrors, in which its steeples and its almost Eastern cupolas are reflected,—the city of the Hague, the capital of the Seven United Provinces, was swelling in all its arteries with a black and red stream of hurried, panting, and restless citizens, who, with their knives in their girdles, muskets on their shoulders, or sticks in their hands, were pushing on to the Buytenhof, a terrible prison, the grated windows of which are still shown, where, on the charge of attempted murder preferred against him by the surgeon Tyckelaer, Cornelius de Witt, the brother of the Grand Pensionary of Holland was confined.
If the history of that time, and especially that of the year in the middle of which our narrative commences, were not indissolubly connected with the two names just mentioned, the few explanatory pages which we are about to add might appear quite supererogatory; but we ... read more
H. Beam Piper
OF LOST WORLDS
Was this ill-fated expedition the end of a proud, old race—or the beginning of a new one?
There are strange gaps in our records of the past. We find traces of man-like things—but, suddenly, man appears, far too much developed to be the "next step" in a well-linked chain of evolutionary evidence. Perhaps something like the events of this story furnishes the answer to the riddle.
Aboard the ship, there was neither day nor night; the hours slipped gently by, as vistas of star-gemmed blackness slid across the visiscreens. For the crew, time had some meaning—one watch on duty and two off. But for the thousand-odd colonists, the men and women who were to be the spearhead of migration to a new and friendlier planet, it had none. They slept, and... read more
“Doc” E.E. Smith pretty much invented the space opera genre, and Triplanetary is a good and well-known example. Physics, time, and politics never stand in the way of a plot that gallops ahead without letup.
Having earned a PhD in chemical engineering, it’s understandable that the heroes of Smith’s story are all scientists. He didn’t want to be constrained by the limits of known science, however, so in his hands the electromagnetic spectrum becomes a raw material to be molded into ever-more amazing and lethal forms, and the speed of light is no bar to traveling through the interstellar void.
Come enjoy this story of yesteryear, set in tomorrow, where real women ignite love at a glance, real men achieve in days what governments manage in decades, and aliens are an ever-present threat to Life-As-We-Know-It! (Summary by Mark F. Smith)
Apparently motionless to her passengers and crew, the Interplanetary liner Hyperion bored serenely onward through space at normal acceleration. In the railed-off sanctum in one corner of the control room a bell tinkled, a smothered whirr was heard, and Captain Bradley frowned as he studied the brief message upon the tape of the recorder--a message flashed to his desk from the operator's panel. He beckoned, and ... read more
It was the exact kind of abode that I had been looking after forweeks, for I was in that condition of mind when absolute renunciation of society was a necessity. I had become diffident of myself, and wearied of my kind. A strange unrest was in my blood; a barren dearth
in my brains. Familiar objects and faces had grown distasteful to me.I wanted to be alone.
This is the mood which comes upon every sensitive and artistic mind when the possessor has been overworked or living too long in one groove. It is Nature's hint for him to seek pastures new; the signthat a retreat has become needful.
If he does not yield, he breaks down and becomes whimsical and hypochondriacal, as well as hypercritical. It is always a bad sign when a man becomes over-critical and censorious about his own or other people's work, for it means that he is losing the vital portions of work, freshness and enthusiasm.... read more